A Weekly Artwork Selection
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
 

Spotlight: A Weekly Artwork Selection

Hito Steyerl, SocialSim, 2020

Exhibition view: Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2020. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Photo © Achim Kukulies
Hito Steyerl
SocialSim, 2020
Single channel HD video and live computer simulations Dancing Mania/Rebellion
Duration: 18:19 min (single channel)
Dancing Mania/Rebellion duration variable
Room dimensions (at K21): 7 x 12 m approx.
Edition of 7
INQUIRE
 
SocialSim, 2020, is a site-specific video installation that premiered at K21 in Düsseldorf and now on view at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, through July 5.

The installation includes an immersive projected live simulation—Dancing Mania in Düsseldorf and Rebellion in Paris—and a video presented in two adjacent darkened rooms divided by a wall, also used as a projection surface. In both rooms the floor is covered with reflective black vinyl that mirrors the projections.

In the first room, a live simulation of Computer-Generated Images feature dancing figures of police officers in uniform and riot gears for Dancing Mania, of police officers and construction workers for Rebellion. Their movements recall contemporary urban dance routines but have a deliberate awkwardness. Their dancing pace is determined by statistical data about instances of police brutality. At K21 the information drew on German events, while in Paris it is determined by data on the actions of the French police.
Video excerpt: Hito Steyerl, SocialSim, 2020. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Still © Hito Steyerl
"In reimagining the aesthetics of gaming, the artist is interested here in the operational and ideological models of social simulation programs, which set out to study and predict the behavior of individuals within a collective and to model mass interactions."


— Florian Ebner and Marcella Lista, Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, K21/Centre Pompidou/Spector books, 2020

Exhibition view: Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2020. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Photo © Achim Kukulies
SocialSim, is articulated in the form of a narrative video that combines multiple sources and aesthetics: video games, data visualization techniques, live online chatrooms, sequences created by neural networks/Artificial Intelligence, found imagery, and excerpts of previous works by Hito Steyerl.

Taking the tone of a thriller serial, the film begins with an announcement that the most expensive painting in the world is missing— a reference to Salvator Mundi attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that recently sold for USD 450 millions—and that a force squad is sent to rescue. The search leads to a 3D-rendered exhibition spaces and online viewing rooms that present virtual and ‘self-generating’ artworks.

Alternating scenes of CGI dance scenes and digital art presentation, the narration provides a constant commentary mixing acerbic observations on politics and the art world, with historical and sociological analyses of contemporary politics, racism, the pandemic, and the effects of Artificial Intelligence.

Hito Steyerl, SocialSim, 2020. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Still © Hito Steyerl
"In this museum of the future the sudden speculative boom in the art market, the assault of nationalism and identity politics, and the decline in public subsidies allocated to cultural venues have led the works to take control of their own destiny in the deregulated chaos of rampant neoliberalism, while humanity appears to have abandoned itself to the algorithmic management of an endless crisis."

— Florian Ebner and Marcella Lista, Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, K21/Centre Pompidou/Spector books, 2020

Exhibition view: Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2020. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Photo © Achim Kukulies
INQUIRE
 
Hito Steyerl (b. 1966 in Munich) lives and works in Berlin.  <br><br>Steyerl is the recipient of the 2019 Käthe Kollwitz Prize from Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In 2015, Steyerl was awarded the EYE Prize from the EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Paddy &amp; Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund. In 2010, she received the New:Vision Award from the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival. <br><br>Institutional solo exhibitions include: <b>Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive</b>, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21, Düsseldorf, and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020–21); <b>Hito Steyerl,</b> n.b.k. – Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2019–20); <b>This is the Future</b>, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2019–20); <b>Hito Steyerl: Drill</b>, Park Avenue Armory, New York (2019); <b>Power Plants</b>, Serpentine Galleries, London (2019); <b>Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019</b>, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2019); <b>The City of Broken Windows</b>, Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2018); <b>Liquidity Inc.</b>, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017); <b>Factory of the Sun</b>, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); <b>The Distributed Image</b>, LUMA Foundation, Arles (2016); <b>Duty-Free Art</b>, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2015)

Hito Steyerl (b. 1966 in Munich) lives and works in Berlin.

Steyerl is the recipient of the 2019 Käthe Kollwitz Prize from Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In 2015, Steyerl was awarded the EYE Prize from the EYE Film Institute Netherlands and the Paddy & Joan Leigh Fermor Arts Fund. In 2010, she received the New:Vision Award from the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival.

Institutional solo exhibitions include: Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21, Düsseldorf, and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020–21); Hito Steyerl, n.b.k. – Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2019–20); This is the Future, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2019–20); Hito Steyerl: Drill, Park Avenue Armory, New York (2019); Power Plants, Serpentine Galleries, London (2019); Käthe Kollwitz Prize 2019, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2019); The City of Broken Windows, Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2018); Liquidity Inc., The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2017); Factory of the Sun, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); The Distributed Image, LUMA Foundation, Arles (2016); Duty-Free Art, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2015)


© Trevor Paglen
 

Concurrent Exhibition

Exhibition view: Hito Steyerl. I Will Survive, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2021. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021.
Photo © Centre Pompidou, Bertrand Prévost
Hito Steyerl
I Will Survive
Centre Pompidou, Paris
through July 5, 2021
www.centrepompidou.fr


The Centre Pompidou presents, in collaboration with K21 in Düsseldorf, I Will Survive: the first large-scale exhibition dedicated to the work of Hito Steyerl in France.

Spreading out over the entire space of the Galerie 2 of the Centre Pompidou, the survey exhibition brings together a group of major works, articulated around SocialSim, 2020, a new production that imagines the future of the world in the era of social simulation technologies. The retrospective retraces a path that began in the 1990s in the field of documentary cinema and that has been developing, for the past ten years, particularly inventive multimedia installations, dedicated to joyfully transforming the immersive character of our visual culture into a space for reflection. Pointing out the failures and paradoxes of the image, Hito Steyerl experiments with new ways of talking about reality and critically addresses nationalism, capitalism and artificial intelligence.
 
Podcast: Hito Steyerl in conversation with curators Florian Ebner and Marcella Lista
Listen here
In French

In this exclusive interview, Hito Steyerl answers questions about her practice, her relationship with images, her vision of new technologies and the design of her exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

With the participation of Marcella Lista (Head Curator, New Media Collection) and Florian Ebner (Head Curator, Photography Collection).
 

Reading Corner

Hito Steyerl<br>

Hito Steyerl

I Will Survive
2020
Publishers: K21, Centre Pompidou, Spector Books
Languages: English, German

Available here

Hito Steyerl<br><b>The City of Broken Windows</b><br>2018<br>

Hito Steyerl
The City of Broken Windows
2018

Publisher: Castello di Rivoli, SKIRA
Language: English

Available here

Hito Steyerl

Hito Steyerl

Duty Free Art
2015
Publisher: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Languages: English, Spanish

Available here

 

Selected Press

FLASH ART
Prediction in the Era of Digital Stupidity: Hito Steyerl
by Noam Segal
Read it here


"SocialSim is a dense commentary on the frenetic state of media consumption, the complicity of art’s privileged internationalism in the policing of national borders and gross income disparities, and the ways that machine learning interprets, misinterprets, and ultimately reproduces an incoherent but still potent version of the authoritarianism that underwrites the whole enterprise."

— Noam Segal for FLASH ART, April 2021
 
Frankfurter Allgemeine
Frenetischer Tanz der Avatare
by Bettina Wohlfarth
Read it here


"Hier hat die Pandemie schon ihre Spuren hinterlassen. Die Avatare von rothelmigen Arbeitern oder uniformierten Cop-Polizisten infizieren sich gegenseitig in einem frenetischen Tanz, der von Algorithmen bestimmt wird, die etwa mit Statistiken aus einer mittelalterlichen Epidemie der Choreomanie, der Tanzwut, gespeist werden."

— Bettina Wohlfarth for Frankfurter Allgemeine, May 21, 2021
 
Esther Schipper GmbH, Potsdamer Stra├če 87, 10785 Berlin